Posted by: Luke Landry
In mid-April, a Sunday night in Chicago brought 32-degree weather and a constant influx of something in between snow and rain. It was breathtaking; and if Sunday were to ever be defined, this would be the day to do so. Yves Jarvis drove 14 hours from Montreal that day and took the stage at 9:00 pm. Like I have never experienced before, the entire room became quiet and still. At The Empty Bottle, there are always at least a few people exchanging some words by the bar. On this night and once the music began, however, even the bartenders were reluctant to use the cash register, as its opening and closing would echo throughout the intimate venue. I have never been to a show as peaceful and filled with so much serenity as this one.
The singing of birds that played on a background track for the entirety of Yves Jarvis’ set absorbed the audience into a state of meditation and awe. It was just one artist on stage, controlling every sound he wanted to produce. The tracks that you hear on Yves Jarvis’ discography are a snapshot into his artistic expression at that moment in time. They are recorded breathlessly. The live shows, however, are based on those same recordings, but with thought-out elaboration. The song structures are so beautifully unconventional that at no point do you know what will happen next. It was as if we were listening to a stream of consciousness take the form of something both easy and fun to listen to. The sounds that were created were worldly, comforting, and glorious; they not only filled the venue with ease but also connected the crowd together. Whether it was the magnificent melodies of an organ or the vocal hooks that repeated powerfully simple advice, the feelings surrounding the venue were intimate and raw.
Aldous Harding played next, and the atmosphere that Yves Jarvis imposed onto the night continued effortlessly. The crowd remained at peace and took everything in from Aldous’ incredibly calming voice to the elegant sound of a cornet. It was a perfect bill for the day and it helped clear the mind before the start of a Chicago week.
You can check out more about Yves Jarvis on his website.
Cover photo courtesy of the mxdwn.